Scripture for Tuesday, October 3 (10/3)

The scripture for today, October 3 (10/3), is John 10:3ff as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 8-ComeFlyWithMe-Cover-Medium-New“The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out….I am the gate for the sheep. All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.”

First of all, we use the term saved/salvation so loosely, we tend to forget what we are being saved from. We are being saved from hell! This is not a minuscule matter.

Second, how do we avoid hell? Through Jesus! This is the only way.

How many of us have been to funerals where the deceased was preached into heaven? So many people believe they are “good enough” or “not too bad” and so God would be horrible to not let them into heaven. Such people will climb in through windows so to speak into heaven as the “thieves and robbers” Jesus referred to.

But heaven is God’s home, not ours. He has a gate into it, just like we have doors on our house. Just like we are not obligated to open the gate or door into our home to just anyone, God is not obligated to open his gate to just anyone. Our door and God’s gate are there for a reason.  Let us enter heaven through the gate ~ Jesus.

Then God will smile and say, “Welcome home.”

Scripture for Saturday, September 30 (9/30)

The scripture for today, September 30, is Luke 9:30f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Medium“Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem.”

Hebrews 5:7 says something very startling to most people. “During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death.”

Jesus did not look forward to going to the cross, even though many thousands of others had died that way. Why was it different for him? Because he had to take on all our sins as though he had committed them himself ~ every lie we’ve told, every time we cheated, every insult, every slander campaign against another, every adultery, every murder ~ everything ~ all our sins! The sins of the whole world! How could he bear it?

Not only that, but he had to experience both physical and spiritual death. Spiritual death means being separated from, being forsaken by God. What a terror to experience!

And so, a few weeks before his crucifixion, as he prayed on the mountain, Moses and Elijah appeared to him and they spoke about his death. They surely gave him the courage to do what had to be done to save you and me who deserve hell.

The crowning glory of this conversation with Moses and Elijah is that God reassured him by announcing, “THIS IS MY SON! WHOM I HAVE CHOSEN! LISTEN TO HIM!”

Jesus was to fulfill the Law and Prophets all the way to the cross. He had promised people, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law and the Prophets: I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them” (Matthew 5:17). He was determined to keep that promise.

Indeed, on the cross, he said, “It is fulfilled.”  By the time Jesus returned to heaven, he had fulfilled the Old Law introduced by Moses by living it perfectly ~ something no man had ever been able to do. And by the time he returned to heaven, he had fulfilled every prophecy about his birth, life, and death, the first such prophet being represented by Elijah.

Oh, the things Jesus went through to try to save us from hell. Do we do yard work or go shopping or a picnic or a club gathering on his day ~ Sunday?  Let us instead fall at his wounded feet and worship him.

 

Scripture for Sunday, September 24 (9/24)

The scripture for today, September 24 9?24), is Luke 9:24 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

worship-the-first-century-way-cover-kindle“For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.”

Romans 6 explains this phenomenon best. We are to put our old self to death ~ to crucify that part of us that sins and doesn’t care, that part of us that puts ourselves first (verse 7) ~ in imitation of Jesus dying. Once we decide to put that part of ourselves to death, we are buried, just like Jesus was buried (verse 3 & 4a).

And then, “just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life” (verse 4b). Why? “If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection” (verse 5). Having been “brought from death to life” (verse 13) through baptism, we have been born again!

Jesus’ physical death on a physical cross had a spiritual meaning of a spiritual death. We understand that. Our watery death has a spiritual meaning of a spiritual death also. There is another spiritual death called the second death in Revelation 21:8. If we go through the first spiritual death at baptism, we will not have to go through the second spiritual death in hell. We will have lost our life of sin and in the process saved our souls.

Only a spiritual mind understands this. And how amazing it is.

 

 

Scripture for Saturday, September 23 (9/23)

The scripture for today, September 23 (9/23), is Luke 9:23 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-Stephen-Cover-Kindle-Medium“Then he said to them all: ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.’ “

There is another verse similar to this: II Timothy 3:12 ~ “Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”

Have you been playing it safe? Have you been associating only with other Christians and thereby sheltering yourself from persecution? Have you been withholding the gospel from people who might be persecuted if they believe, even if they will be saved by following it?

Jesus came to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). To do that, we must seek out the lost and try to save them, even when they do not think they are lost. It will end in persecution sometimes ~ you, them, or both. That’s a fact.

Let us not play it safe all the time. Jesus didn’t.